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Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag
 
 
Author
Sigrid Nunez.
Publisher Atlas & Co  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 7.4 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches
ISBN 9781935633228
Pages/Publication Date 140/2011
Daedalus Item Code 32821
This item is not available.
Description
The winner of the Whiting Writers' Award, the Berlin Prize, and the Rome Prize, novelist Sigrid Nunez was an aspiring writer when she was introduced to Susan Sontag, already a legendary figure known for her polemical essays, her blindingly bright intelligence, and her edgy personal style. Her influence on Nunez, who moved into Sontag's apartment, would be profound, and here Nunez looks back with gratitude for having had, as an early model, "someone who held such an exalted, unironic view of the writer's vocation."

"Sontag once wrote about feeling estranged from the 'Susan Sontag' who stood on the spine of the books she had written. In Nunez's Sempre Susan, the gap between the writer and the person who wrote the books is made all the more vividly real—a reminder of the extraordinary transformative work that goes into writing in the first place."—Slate

"The iconoclasm of the fearless intellectual Susan Sontag, who died in 2004 of leukemia, began to be revealed with her son David Rieff's memoir, Swimming in a Sea of Death, and continues with novelist Nunez's thorny remembrance of the woman who was her literary mentor as well as her boyfriend's mother. Sontag was 43, Nunez 25, when the young editorial assistant at the New York Review of Books was hired by the famous writer to help her sort her correspondence at her Riverside Drive apartment in 1976. As a fledgling writer, between college and grad school, Nunez was in awe of Sontag's reputation, her mighty pronouncements, unconventional flair for life, and her critical reading and movie lists; the young writer promptly read her books (knowing Sontag would ask her if she had: 'She didn't have a beautiful style,' Nunez concludes). Soon Nunez was introduced to Sontag's son, David Rieff, who was a year younger and a student; they began a romance, sanctioned by Sontag, and Nunez moved into the apartment with them, in an increasingly problematic arrangement. What emerges from this conflicted portrait is a vulnerable woman recovering from illness who could not be alone; Sontag was supercilious, insecure, yet vulnerable to beauty and love, fiercely uncompromising, and surely, as Nunez intimates by the end, the finest teacher a young writer could ever have had."—Publishers Weekly

 
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